US judge finds classics-inspired picture books infringe copyright
A US judge has ruled that Moppet Books’ series of classics-inspired children’s picture books have infringed the copyright of the originals, reports the Bookseller.
As previously reported by Books+Publishing, in 2016 Moppet Books began publishing the ‘Kinderguide’ series children’s picture books inspired by titles including Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, Arthur C Clarke’s 2001, A Space Odyssey and Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. In January 2017, publishers Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster and the estates of Truman Capote, Jack Kerouac, Arthur C Clarke and Ernest Hemingway initiated an infringement suit against the books, which they said were ‘unauthorized derivative’ works that lift the plot, characters and settings from the books.
District judge Jed Rakoff found that the books were ‘overwhelmingly … a regurgitation’ of the originals and that fair use was not a defence.